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California ranks at number 12 nationwide for tax rate
Cal outline

Tax Day is fast approaching and with over three in four Americans more worried about inflation than taxes, WalletHub recently released its 2024 Taxpayer Survey, as well as its yearly report on the States with the Highest and Lowest Tax Rates. The goal of the reports is to help people better understand this confusing time of year.


Tax Rates in California (1=Lowest; 25=Avg.):

Overall Rank: 12th

12th – Overall Effective State & Local Tax Rate

11th – Income Tax

16th – Real-Estate Tax

28th – Vehicle Property Tax

42nd – Sales & Excise Taxes


2024 Taxpayer Survey

Over three in four Americans are more worried about inflation than taxes right now.

72 percent of Americans think their current tax rate is too high.

28 percent of people say getting audited is their biggest Tax Day concern, while an equal percentage is concerned about not having enough funds to pay taxes.

39 percent of Americans think charities would make better use of their tax dollars than government or religious groups.

More than two in five Americans know someone who has cheated on their taxes.

Nearly two in three people describe companies that advertise free tax filing services as bait-and-switch schemes.

90 percent of Americans think filing taxes should be free.


WalletHub Q&A with Analyst Cassadra Happe

Are people more worried about inflation or taxes?

Over three in four Americans are more worried about inflation than taxes, which shows that the government has not done enough to alleviate the impact of heightened prices on people’s lives. While tax season is a dreaded time of year for many people, the effects of inflation can persist year-round, and they’re obvious every time you go shopping. On the other hand, if people’s employers handle their taxes correctly, most don’t end up owing much extra at tax time – in fact, the majority of people actually get refunds.


What do people think about their current tax rates?

Around 72 percent of Americans think their current tax rate is too high, according to a new WalletHub survey. Less than 27 percent of people think their rate is just right, while a mere 1.5 percent think that it is too low. These statistics demonstrate that people don’t feel the value they receive from government services is equal to the amount they pay in taxes. In addition, there’s a prevailing attitude that taxes are used inefficiently, and people whose favored political party is not in power will always feel like their tax dollars are being used for things they don’t want.


Who do Americans believe would make the most efficient use of their tax dollars?

Nearly 39 percent of Americans believe that charities would make the most efficient use of their tax dollars, according to WalletHub’s latest survey, which is understandable because the money would be going directly to causes they care about. When it comes to governing authorities, people think local governments will use the money more efficiently than state governments, with the Federal government coming in last place. Local governments address the issues that are most directly applicable to people’s everyday lives, and the state and federal governments are more detached and often spend money on things people have no interest in or do not feel the impact of.


What should taxpayers be worried about on Tax Day?

The biggest things that Americans fear on Tax Day are getting audited and not having enough money, with making math errors coming in at third place. What people should be most concerned about is having the funds to pay what they owe, as trying to come up with extra money on short notice is especially difficult in the midst of inflation. The fear of getting audited or making math errors is legitimate, but taxpayers can avoid having issues with their tax returns by completing them early and reviewing them thoroughly for mistakes before submitting. People can also take advantage of free tax-prep resources that can help make sure their math is correct, in addition to paid filing services that will help make sure things are in order if you do get audited.